May 2013  

Plans to Keep Local Students Busy this Summer

As we approach the end of the school year, many parents are faced with the decision of what to do to keep their children busy during the summer break.  The four Harris County commissioners are offering summer programs in each of their precincts that children are sure to find entertaining.

Precinct One Commissioner El Franco Lee has several programs that offer summer activities for children.  They include the Harris County Aquatics Program, the Discovery Camp and the Summer Games – all hosted at various locations throughout Precinct One.  All of these programs are part of the Harris County Street Olympics, a nonprofit organization founded by Commissioner Lee.

The Harris County Aquatics Program offers swim lessons to children 6 years and older at the Harris County Aquatics Center, Attucks Middle School and Kashmere High School.  The class dates are June 10 through July 3, and July 8 through August 1.  For more information, call 713-748-7333.

Alexander Deussen Park and Challenger Seven Memorial Park both serve as host sites for field trips and summer day camps where groups can explore nature.  Children between the ages of 5 and 13 can participate in games, crafts and projects to get hands-on education about the interconnected web of life.  The parks provide the perfect setting for children to explore the wonders of nature, including bugs, birds, fish and forest.  For more information on the programs, call 281-332-5157 and 281-454-4360.


Finnigan Park, in partnership with NFL Youth Education Town (YET), offers children between the ages of 7 and 17 a fun and safe social environment to interact with peers.  Activities include classes on nutrition and etiquette, drama productions, swimming lessons, regular physical activity and various games.  Call 713-678-7385 for more information.

Lincoln Park Community Center provides the Summer Enrichment Program to keep children’s bodies and minds busy.  Kids can participate in arts and crafts, swimming, volleyball, kickball, educational games, table games, tennis, karate and other activities.  For more information, call 281-445-1617. 

The Harris County Street Olympics will offer its Summer Games Program and a citywide 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament.  Agencies that provide youth services can use the Summer Games curriculum to engage children in fun activities involving “street games” like basketball (dribble, 3-on-3 competition and free throws), sprint races, jacks, kickball, hopscotch, softball throw, jump rope and Hula Hoop.  Preliminary competitions are held by the participating agencies in neighborhood locations prior to the Street Olympics Final Event, which will be held in Reliant Arena on August 2.  For more information on Street Olympics, call 713-741-0851.

Precinct Two Commissioner Jack Morman’s Precinct2gether Summer Day Camp Program will offer a variety of opportunities for youth to explore new interests as well as brush up on subjects like reading, math and science – all while having fun.  Students will engage in projects and events such as Salute to Veterans, Marsh Mania Wetlands Preservation Project, and Fitness Fun in the Sun mini-camp.  In addition to scheduled speakers and activities at each camp site, campers will take field trips to various local destinations, including Moody Gardens.  The theme for the 2013 Summer Camp is “Totally Texas,” and campers will salute the state with a Texan Summer Musical at the end the program.

The Summer Day Camp Program will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, June 11 – June 19.  The camps are first-come, first-served and are available to students in first through eighth grades.  Applications are now available.  For more information on registration and camp site locations, call 281-864-9028.

Precinct Three Commissioner Steve Radack is offering programs at two of his community centers.  The Summer at Bear Creek Community Center program will provide several different classes for children.  The program begins on June 3 with children’s karate.  The karate class will be held each Monday from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM.  There is no cost for the class, but children must have a gi and pay for belt advances. 

Bubble-Ology will be held from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on June 7 and June 14.  In this two-part class, kids ages 10 to 13 will be able to participate in a hands-on series of experiments with bubbles.  Children ages 6 to 12 can learn how to make play dough and salt dough at the Homemade Play Dough and Salt Dough class from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on June 13.  They can also learn how to make slime and flarp from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on July 19.  A children’s ceramics class will be held at the center from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on June 27 and August 1.  Children 5 to 12 years old are invited to attend.  There is no cost for these classes.

The American Red Cross will offer a two-day Baby Sitting Boot Camp from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 27 and 28 at the center.  The boot camp is designed for 11- to 15- year-olds who want to be responsible babysitters.  The participants will learn everything from age-appropriate activities, potential hazards for babies, first aid and CPR.  The cost to attend the boot camp is $27. 

To register for the classes or the boot camp, call 281-859-1566, or go to the Bear Creek Community Center at 3055 Bear Creek Drive, Houston, TX, 77084.

Precinct Three also is offering a “Use Your Brain for School Success” workshop by Louise Hayes at the Bayland Community Center.  The free workshop is for students and parents.  Topics include Brain Growth for School Success at any Age, which will be held on June 18.  Tips on how to grow connections in your brain to overcome ADD, ADHD, autism, dyslexia and other learning disabilities will be discussed.  Other topics covered are reading comprehension and written composition, on June 24; Memorizing Math Facts and Understanding Word Problems, on July 10; and Whole Brain Study and Test-Taking Skills, on July 17.  All sessions will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  Registration is required.  Please register in person at Bayland Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet, Houston, TX, 77074 or call 713-541-9951.

Precinct Four Commissioner R. Jack Cagle has several fun and exciting summer programs planned.  Children’s Story Time in the Garden will be held on the third Monday of each month at Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens beginning May 20The program runs from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.  The program ends on August 19.  Baldwin Boettcher Children’s Librarian Maggie Hope, along with Mercer volunteer docents, will share some of their favorite nature books with children and their parents in the Mercer gardens.  A craft project is included, and participants must check in at the visitor center for the specific location of each story time. 

Summer Nature Camp, held during the summer break each year at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, is a four-day (Tuesday through Friday) nature program for children 5 to 12.  The program begins June 11.  Camp sessions feature a variety of themed nature subjects and are held mostly outdoors.  The sessions include ranger talks, guided nature walks through the forest and visits to the ponds, swamps and Spring Creek.  The games, activities and crafts are suited for age brackets of 5 and 6, 7 through 9, and 10 through 12.  Space is limited in each bracket and participants must be able to attend the full week of activities.  Registration is open to all.  Registration for non-county residents is based on space availability.  Call 281-446-8588 to register or visit session dates and times.

A variety of fun-filled activities is scheduled for Tuesdays, June 11 through July 30, at May Community Center.  Activities include a Trip to the World of Fables – a storyteller will put a creative spin on time-tested fables to teach the children that a good choice is always available; YUCK! The Game Show – kids get messy participating in this interactive stage show featuring a variety of fast-paced stunts and physical challenges; Top Secret Detective School – participants will learn about a few of the skills needed to be the next Sherlock Holmes; U.S.A. Birthday Bash – America’s birthday will be celebrated with Harmony the Clown, Abby the Monkey and cake and ice cream; Magic by Professor Chrome Dome; Mad Science – the center will be turned into a Mad Science laboratory; Houston ZooMobile – the Houston Zoo will reveal the amazing diversity of animals that call Texas home; Splish Splash! – kids can cool off on the Big Kahuna water slide by riding down 37 feet of wet mountain fun (a bathing suit worn under clothes, sunscreen, towel and water shoes are recommended).

A $3 per child, per program donation is encouraged and helps defray the costs of entertainment and refreshments.  Registration is required.  For more information and to register, please stop by the center or call 281-324-3373.

Children of all ages are welcome to join the fun-filled activities planned at Mangum-Howell Center on Thursdays, June 13 through July 25.  The activities begin promptly, so please arrive 20 minutes prior to each program’s start time.  A parent or adult must accompany children under the age of 18.  Activities include a Banana Split and Zumba Party; The Turtle Lady – kids will learn about turtles and pet a 50-pound turtle; Kids in Action – fun and action-packed day of games and exercises; Children’s Bingo; Texas Snakes and More – children will learn about the local varieties of Texas snakes and see a few that are a little more exotic; and the Ronald McDonald Magic Show.

Registration is required for all programs, and a $2 per person suggested donation helps defray the cost of special entertainment, supplies and refreshments provided at each program.  For more information and to register, stop by the center or call 281-591-7830. 

These programs offer a variety of activities for children to enjoy.  Parents will be pleased with the variation of recreational sports, educational programs and hands-on activities available to their children.